Lost Orson Welles Film ‘Too Much Johnson’ Now Available Online

August 23, 2014 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Lost Orson Welles Film Pics

Lost Orson Welles film discovered and can now be seen online. A film by Orson Welles called Too Much Johnson, which got lost during a fire in 1970 in Spain, has been found in Italy. The conceptual movie based on William Gillette’s 1894 play can be seen on The National Film Preservation Foundation’s website.

Fans of Orson Welles were thrilled to learn that his long lost film has resurfaced and after a lengthy process, the images have been restored.

Welles who was 21 at the time, wrote and directed the conceptual comedy entitled Too Much Johnson in 1938.

The film was supposed to serve as a way to introduce the characters of William Gillette’s 1894 play by the same name.

Due to a series of unfortunate events, it was never released to the public.

The 40-minute flick starred Joseph Cotten in the role of Augustus Billings, Welles’s wife Virginia Nicolson and Edgar Barrier.

When the famous writer came up with the silent movie Too Much Johnson, he imagined an entire stage presentation concept around it.

The movie itself would run for about 40 minutes along with 30 minutes devoted to the prologue and introductions of the second and third acts.

The flick was filmed entirely in the Big Apple and told the story of a big shot New Yorker named Augustus Billings, who fled to Cuba after the husband of his mistress caught them in the act and attempted to beat him.

While in Cuba, Mr Billings stole the identity of a rich plantation owner and gets in sticky and comical situations as he waits for his mail order bride from Europe.

Despite financial problems and copyrights infringements suits, the short movie debuted in 1938 and Welles’ vision was not respected due to production issues and the reviews were disastrous.

The filmmaker moved on and did amazing things like Citizen Kane and Othello.

In 1970, a fire broke in Welles’ home in Madrid, Spain and the only copy of the film was burned.

But in 2008 by some miracle, the 10 badly damaged reels of the original work print, were found in a warehouse in Italy and were restored.

This weekend movie buffs were delighted to finally see the genius’ work.

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